ISBA tackles public trust with five-part advertising guide

Advertisers are being encouraged to 'ensure every impact and exposure matters'.

Fagan: 'the choices we make now will decide the future of the industry'
Fagan: 'the choices we make now will decide the future of the industry'

ISBA is calling on the industry to rebuild the nation’s trust in advertising with a five-point plan that it expects advertisers and agencies to follow.

It urges brands to "make your advertising welcome in people’s lives", "place business effectiveness above efficiency" and "achieve full visibility of where your advertising goes".

Advertisers are also encouraged to "ensure every impact and exposure matters" and "deploy the necessary resources to track, measure and manage this programme" to rebuild the public’s trust in the industry and what it creates.

The plan was revealed at ISBA’s annual conference in London this morning (Thursday) as part of a report called Improving the Public’s Advertising Experience.

Elizabeth Fagan, ISBA president and non-executive chair at Boots UK, told the audience: "The challenges we are facing and the volatility of the world in which we are operating are unprecedented.

"We are at a critical point; the choices we make now will decide the future of the industry for years to come. It’s time for a reset and a rethink about what is the right model to take us forward.

"There are many challenges facing our industry, and if you want to operate in an open, transparent and flexible advertising ecosystem, one where self-regulation is maintained, we the advertisers will need to be engaged and involved in shaping that ecosystem."

The industry body also used the conference to unveil a new independently verified "advertising experience MOT" for brands that aims to improve the public’s experience of campaigns through supporting advertisers to secure greater value and efficiency.

According to research from Credos, all industries were viewed more positively at the end of 2019 than they were the year before, with favourability towards advertising increasing from 50% to 65%.

However, advertising experienced a widening gap in public trust and favourability compared with other industries, including banking and energy, with this disparity rising from 19% to 21%.

Phil Smith, director-general at ISBA and co-chair of the Trust Working Group, said: "Change that is needed is coming and it is coming quickly.

"Brands have huge potential to make a positive social and economic impact and they need change in the advertising ecosystem to allow that impact to be felt."

ISBA’s Improving the Public’s Advertising Experience paper was developed by industry consultants Derek Morris and Nick Manning, alongside contributions from Credos and interviews with advertisers, agencies and media owners.

Keith Weed, president of the Advertising Association, added: "Improving the advertising experience is wholly in our hands. We have more tools and more opportunities to deliver advertising than ever before and we need to choose wisely how we use these in order to protect the vital relationship we have with the public.

"We need to put the consumer experience back at the heart of everything we do and, by doing so, create a healthy and sustainable industry for everyone – for people, advertisers, media owners and agencies."

Last year, Weed urged US advertisers to join the UK in tackling the "Achilles heel" of trust.

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